3/25/2021 — Amid the record-setting sellouts on HotWheelsCollectors.com, the annual Red Line Club (RLC) sELECTIONs vote is back for 2021. Great news for collectors as RLC sELECTIONs are always made-to-order, meaning you don’t have to worry about not getting one as the window is open for one week, and you can order as many as you would like! The bad news? Since these are made-to-order, the production of these vehicles doesn’t take place until the final design is approved by any (and all) licensors, and the final order has been submitted. The whole process, once voting is completed, takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months … the standard lead time for Hot Wheels vehicles.
Looking back, the collectors at HWC have helped create some pretty stellar pieces over the years. RLC sELECTIONs began back in 2004 to coincide with the election year. Four sELECTIONs brackets were held that year, netting collectors a unique 4-car series. Over the last 17 years, sELECTIONs was whittled down from 4 to 2 to 1 vehicle a year, but that hasn’t made the process any less fun — just less fun to be had overall. Over those years, production numbers have ranged quite a bit based on the demand — after all, these are made-to-order, so the quantity truly reflects the demand at the time. Below you’ll find a list that contains all the vehicles in sELECTIONs history, and the quantity produced:
|Chevy Nomad (10,871) 2004||’69 Pontiac GTO (9,015) 2007||Ramblin’ Wrecker (3,192) 2011|
|Mustang Mach I (10,385) 2004||Bye-Focal (7,716) 2007||Mob Rod (3,981) 2012|
|Classic Packard (6,590) 2004||Custom ’69 Chevy Truck (7,631) 2007||Mighty Maverick (2,400) 2012|
|Thunder Roller (6,490) 2004||’67 Mustang (7,897) 2008||’69 Ford Mustang (4,000) 2013|
|GMC Motorhome (9,282) 2005||Custom Plymouth Barracuda (5,592) 2008||Long Gone (4,500) 2013|
|W-Oozie (12,601) 2005||’69 Pontiac Firebird (6,048) 2008||Custom AMX (3,126) 2014/2015|
|’65 Corvette (7,832) 2005||Open Fire (5,791) 2008||’77 Pontiac Firebird Funny Car (3,840) 2014/2015|
|’68 Chevy Nova (7,950) 2005||’64 Ford Falcon Sprint (4,631) 2009||Texas Drive ‘Em (9,000) 2016|
|Plymouth Barracuda Funny Car (9,813) 2006||Gremlin Grinder (3,071) 2009||’66 Chevy Super Nova (11,500) 2017|
|Race Truck (8,590) 2006||S’Cool Bus (4,086) 2009||Custom ’72 Datsun 204Z (20,000) 2018|
|Poison Pinto (7,553) 2006||Funny Money (3,712) 2009||’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser (Unnumbered) 2019|
|King Kuda (7,931) 2006||’57 Buick (3,455) 2010||’41 Willys Gasser (Unnumbered) 2020|
|Bone Shaker (10,442) 2007||’69 Camaro (4,748) 2010|
|Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (10,003) 2007||Blown Delivery (9,408) 2011|
One of the many positives among the traditional voting has been the participation of HWCVan, the Hot Wheels graphic designer who works on all the HWC/RLC pieces. He often solicits collector input on the RLC forums and has made drastic changes based on feedback. The fact that collectors have total control of what casting gets chosen to be made, in addition to choosing the wheels and color, is what makes the RLC sELECTIONs unique. RLC sELECTIONs has always drawn the ire of collectors for a variety of reasons: casting choice, casting unavailability, wheel debate, and their selection not winning, rank among the top complaints from years past. Amid all that controversy though, a casting does emerge victoriously. As new collectors come in, those reasons/debacles are often forgotten because, in the end, another cool car got produced.
Case in point: the Street Snorter won in 2012, but due to the casting being unavailable for use, it was replaced with its older brother, the Mighty Maverick. Collectors were fuming and hastily voted for spectraflame magenta despite a spectraflame pink one being produced just a few years earlier — and, another pink one was produced several years before that. Many didn’t order in protest as only 2,400 were produced. Now, it remains as the rarest sELECTIONs vehicle and is highly coveted by collectors as the value dances around in the $100-$150 range. Suffice to say, the running of sELECTIONs on HWC has been tumultuous, to say the least.
As of today, RLC members will begin voting on the 2021 release. The initial bracket contains 8 previous HWC/RLC castings to choose from. Let’s breakdown each casting and see what’s on the table:
’69 Dodge Charger R/T
The #’69 Dodge Charger R/T is my odds-on favorite to win the RLC sELECTIONs this year. It faces a steep challenge in trying to knock-off the Datsun 240Z which actually came out victorious in a field of 8 before. However, this Charger was well-received — especially by this collector — and it’s time to set it with a true coat of spectraflame. The first release in spectraflame black looked amazing, but can you imagine if spectraflame purple, orange, green, or even yellow are offered in the next round? …Talk about building a true RLC MOPAR that would undoubtedly be cool. Honestly, I’m a bit biased as every color sounds great on this casting as my dark horse for the color/wheel combination is spectraflame steel blue with #Real Riders Steelie Wheels. This will be one sad collector if it gets knocked out in round 1 as that restomod Charger with #Opening Hood revealing that insane Hellephant engine certainly needs to make another appearance!
Drawing the ’69 Dodge Charger R/T in Round 1 is tough luck, but if any casting can pull off this upset, it’s a casting that actually has a deep following. Keep in mind that the #Datsun 240Z actually won sELECTIONs in 2018, but was dropped by collectors in an additional round of voting when the new (at the time) #Custom ’72 Datsun 240Z with opening hood presented itself. Though the casting isn’t to the ultra-premium standard of today’s HWC/RLC castings, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 240Z win based on all four of the previous HWC/RLC releases selling in the hundreds of dollars. Resellers see a lot of value with this casting and that alone could propel this one to victory (again).
’06 BMW M3
The #’06 BMW M3 was just released this year (but as part of the 2020 RLC Membership). It may be too soon for the collectors to get behind this M3 but given the fact that it had no problems selling out at 20,000 pieces, means the new RLC base is all about it. It is hard to imagine what any potential deco would look like though as I can only imagine this stock M3 being released clean. Also, what other wheels can possibly top those Real Riders 10-Spoke Modern painted in silver? Nothing… I’m down for another release of this in another color, just not in sELECTIONs.
Mustang Boss Hoss
Here is a Hot Wheels casting which is actually due for a return. The #Mustang Boss Hoss hasn’t been released since the Rewards Spoilers edition in 2017. It doesn’t have the resellers salivating like the above castings, but I’m willing to bet it is the favorite of the Neo-Classics fans out there. The casting is fabulous and it actually deeply rooted in HWC/RLC history with 7 variants sold online alone — 4 of which, were the 2008 RLC Membership cars (spectraflame red variant shown above). #Mustangs were very popular with the old guard in RLC sELECTIONs. We will see if one can prevail again in the days of unlimited memberships.
Dodge Deora Concept
The #Deora — about as classic as they come — one of the Original 16 Hot Wheels. Giving it a 12.2% chance of winning may be gratuitous, but the nostalgic redline collectors have traditionally made a strong showing at the polls. I’ve always had a special place for any Deora in my collection — until the Deora 3 came along — as I have always loved vehicles with detachable #Surfboards. Honestly, it will probably get crushed by the Steam Punk Truck in round 1, but in talking with HWCGary, he advised me to not be so quick to dismiss the Deora.
Steam Punk Truck
How many pieces is the #Steam Punk Truck, 10? This thing is actually really cool. Collectors that don’t open their cars are missing out when it comes to this casting. The articulating boom is unlike anything else Hot Wheels has produced, and it is one of the last castings to be designed by Larry Wood. Holding one of these in your hands will giving you a new appreciation for #Unlicensed Hot Wheels and sELECTIONs offers you the chance to buy as many as you would like!
’69 Chevy C-10
Up or down? How do you like to position the #’69 Chevy C-10? I actually prefer mine in the stock stance as seen in the photo above which is the initial release in Spectraflame Root Beer from 2019. The vehicle has been released twice since including a really cool Japan Convention variant from earlier this year. The first two HWC/RLC releases have had rather stock designs, so if this one does prevail, it would be cool to see HWCVan take this one full custom, complete with insane paint and some handy pinstriping — similar to the Japan convention release.
The #Drag Dairy is going to get crushed. The bulk of collectors are seemingly over it these days. Older releases are very attainable to see the least so I can’t see many collectors casting their votes for this one. As a dragster, it actually is pretty cool, but that crowd seems very micro-niche these days, and championing a descendent of the #Dairy Delivery is highly unlikely. I was honestly surprised this one made it in the bracket as the chance of it prevailing only exists if a plan to sabotage the RLC emerges from voters.
One snub that definitely should have made the bracket is the ’82 Lamborghini Countach LP500 S. As the runner-up last year, I would have loved to see this one go toe-to-toe with any of the cars in this bracket for a chance at redemption. Hopefully, that means there are plans for it to be used elsewhere in 2021/2022, but it would have been cool to see it make it over that hump.
Noticeably absent from this year’s bracket are the #Gassers. It most likely because all the RLC level castings have been made. 3 of the last 4 sELECTIONs winners have been a gasser: ’66 Chevy Super Nova (2017), ’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser (2019), and ’41 Willys Gasser (2020). Although gassers and their crazy liveries play well with the RLC sELECTIONs design process, it is nice to see the team switch it up a little this year — whether it was intentional or not.
Who are you pulling for this year? Lets us know in the comments below!